Eagle Eyes Miss Dixie is a bay roan paint 2002 Tennessee Walking Horse. She was supposed to be a show horse, but she refused to get with the “performance horse” thing, and I bought her in 2007.
I had no business buying yet another horse – I already had three others at the time, and I had no idea what I was doing, and she was green and traumatized from her show experiences, but I did it anyway. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Today, seven years later, she’s about as broke as a horse can be. She’s remarkably patient with me, and she’s brave, and she’s steadfast and centered. But it was a long, long road to get here.
I can’t sum up seven years in one page, but I’ll tell you this much: if it can be done wrong and survived, we’ve done it wrong and lived to tell the tale. We’ve camped alone in National Forests, and we’ve pranced through the capitol of Nevada in a parade. Dixie is a good eater, but not an easy keeper. She’s a horrendous alpha-mare bitch at liberty, but under saddle she’s impeccably mannered.
I’ve used whips, and I’ve used clickers, but the main thing I’ve used is patience. I believe in natural horsemanship as an ideal, but I don’t follow any particular BNT. Same with barefoot hoof care – I learned to trim, and I do my best to keep up with the various advances and theories, but I don’t have a Trim Style. If it works for me, I’ll do it, and if it stops working, I’ll try something else.
I am deeply opposed to padded “performance” horses, sored or “clean.” I’m aware of how incredibly tough and lucky Dixie is – there aren’t many TWH who can do endurance, much less after being in stacks as a two and three year old.
She makes me smile every day.